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An Interview with Francesca Baerald

I came across Francesca Baerald through the map she created of Xadia for The Dragon Prince. I decided to reach out to her to learn more about her work.

About Francesca Baerald

“Freelance Artist and Cartographer with years of experience happily working in the game and publishing industry for companies such as Square Enix, Games Workshop, Paizo, Fantasy Flight Games, Penguin Random House and Dark Horse.

My favourite media are traditional. Watercolour, ink, acrylic and oil are my daily work tools. But I also work with Photoshop on daily basis. I love to bring worlds to life through my detailed maps and lively paintings and I’m always looking for new challenging projects!”

1. What inspired you to start making art?

As many others like me, drawing has always been a way of expressing myself. This passion has grown through the years inspired by games, books and wonderful people who influenced my way of looking at art. In time I found a way to transform making art into a job and I couldn’t be more happy about it

2. Do you have a favorite piece? If so why?

I do not have a favourite piece among my works. For me each project I work on is special and is linked to a specific moment in my life. In my mind they are all unique in their own way.

3. What other artist inspires you?

I find inspiration from many artists and it would be impossible to list them all. I have a quite full library of artbooks from all times and of all kinds of art. For me inspiration doesn’t come just from other artists’ works. I can find it in places, things, words… I always try to keep my mind and my eyes open wherever I go.

4. What struggles do you face as an artist?

As an artist, sometimes you feel like you are not heard, especially at the beginning of your career. It takes a lot of will to go on despite the rejections, but perseverance pays off in time. Another struggle is to establish a connection with your clients. Sometimes it’s not easy to understand and translate their ideas into images.

Vision

5. Advice to other artists?

I made it as a rule to keep pushing no matter the struggle. For me luck is not an essential factor in success. You have to find a way to create opportunities. If one in a hundred of your works gets noticed, it’s a success. It just means that you need to make more works to get more opportunities to be seen.

6.What are your plans for 2021?

Luckily I have a rich and full agenda ahead of me. Most of the projects I’m working on are under NDA so unfortunately, I can’t share details. This year I’m working on some projects that have been in my dreams for a long time and I’m looking forward to sharing the work I’m doing with the world, as soon as I can.

Sumi-e Style Illustration

7. How did you come up with your ideas?

Most of my works are made for published projects so I usually take inspiration from the description of the setting I’m working on. I do a lot of research and try my best to identify with the setting I’m exploring. I think that it’s vital to create a connection with the setting to be able to truly communicate its message.

Discover more HERE

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Tatiana Stec is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at All Ages of Geek. You can follow her on Twitter @Tatiana_Stec

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